West Berkshire Brewery launches crowdfunding campaign as future growth brews

By Jamie Hill - 12 June 2020

Food & Drink

West Berkshire Brewery, creators of iconic Good Old Boy and Renegade Lager, has launched a crowdfunding campaign on leading investment platform Seedrs (www.seedrs.com/west-berkshire-brewery1) in a bid to raise £750,000 to build on yet another transformational period and add further scale to the fast-growing business.

The money raised will fund the next stage of development of the award-winning business following significant progress and numerous successes in recent times – since the brewer’s first crowdfunding campaign in 2016, West Berkshire Brewery has established itself as one of the highest-growth beer businesses in the UK, with recent trading highlights including:

• A doubling of revenues to £6m+ in its most recent full financial year

• A trebling of its state-of-the-art packaging and canning business, now worth circa £2m of revenues annually

• Contract packaging has increased by up to 12 times, from 3,400 hl per year to 3,400 hl per month

• Own-label contracts secured with leading national grocery multiple, Aldi

• Packaging for a number of regional breweries including Wadworth, Black Sheep and Adnams

• Landmark national distribution deal with Matthew Clark

• Growing portfolio of unique managed pubs in partnership with Maverick Pubs

• High volume, highly profitable, on-site brewery Taproom & Kitchen launched

• Continual beer innovation and creation of brews in-line with consumer trends

• Imminent launch of beer subscription or regular ‘beer box’ service

Looking to the future, the award-winning brewer has already received pledges of £500k from its community of more than 1500 existing shareholders during the exclusive pre-launch stage of the campaign.

Testament to the strength and resilience of the West Berkshire Brewery business model, and despite the unprecedented global pandemic, which saw the closure of all pubs, bars and restaurants nationwide, the business has been able to continue to grow and build some parts of its business in the past three months – with distinct success with its online retail offering and packaging business.

Planned developments for the brewery business will include new brews in-line with consumer trends and an ambitious plan for the Maverick Pubs portfolio, which will continue to re-claim the pub as a place to enjoy great beer, locally sourced, high-quality food and as a hub for communities. Brand new West Berkshire Brewery subscription boxes will also be launching over the coming months, catering not only to the demand in home-delivery but capturing consumer interest through the exploration of beer. For each subscription sold, a donation will be made to NHS Charities Together – more information will be shared at and following the launch.

Live from 1 June, investor perks include lifetime 10% discount, brewery tours, vouchers and for larger pledges, access to the 100L pilot kit for shareholders to create their own bespoke beer.

In line with consumer trends, one of the most recent additions to the line up of WBB beers is Solo (0.5% ABV), the brewery’s first ever alcohol-free beer. Available in 330ml bottle and can formats, with trials into kegs, the Solo range has grown considerably since the launch earlier this year and now includes a classic Pale Ale, Pilsner and Peach Pale Ale variant. The future will see WBB continue to experiment with innovative beers that cater to the modern consumer.

Commenting, Tom Lucas, West Berkshire Brewery Managing Director said:  “The past few months have been extremely tough for everyone, ourselves included, but despite these challenging times, we have been able to trade through and some parts of our business are in significant growth, which is testament to the extensive work we have completed in the past couple of years to establish a much bigger and multi-faceted business, which has positioned us well to weather the current storm. We are in a very positive place and ready to continue accelerating our business in the months and years ahead.”

David Bruce, West Berkshire Brewery Chairman, said: “West Berkshire Brewery is as authentic as British brewing gets. It has been an absolute pleasure to work with the team and be a part of the journey over the past seven years, but this really is only the beginning. We are opening up once more to offer beer lovers and craft-brewing enthusiasts with a thirst for fantastic breweries a chance to join us and become a part of this extraordinary story."

In the wake of recent COVID developments, the WBB team continues to innovate and work with the local community to help and support. Offering home delivery services across the country, and also community grocery delivery support to those that might be self-isolating/vulnerable within a 20-mile radius.

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